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UAE Team Emirates will bring plenty of climbing firepower to the start of the Vuelta a España start this weekend in Málaga, with both Dan Martin and Fabio Aru set to attend the three-week race.
After winning a stage and delivering an eighth-place overall performance at the Tour de France, Martin will hope to carry his form to the Vuelta. The Spanish grand tour was the scene of his first career grand tour stage victory back in 2011.
Aru, on the other hand, did not deliver the performance he was hoping for in his first grand tour appearance this season at the Giro d’Italia. The 28-year-old Italian will hope to bounce back in Spain.
“I arrive from a first part of the season in which I did not get the results I was looking for, but from the defeats you can learn important lessons and all this gives me great motivation,” Aru said. “It will be a tactically open Vuelta, the nine summit finishes will lend themselves to attacks. And I must beware of short stages, they will have a big impact on the general classification.”
If both Aru and Martin can manage to ride at their best in Spain, UAE could be a formidable team in the mountains.
“Aru will be our man for the general classification, in addition we will be able to count on Daniel Martin, back from an excellent Tour de France and looking for more good results in some stage finishes particularly suited to him,” said team manager Joxean Matxin.
Completing the roster for UAE Team Emirates are Norwegians Vegard Stake Laengen and Sven Erik Bystrøm and the Italian quartet of Valerio Conti, Simone Consonni, Simone Petilli, and Edward Ravasi.